You Should Maintain Your Devotion to God
How is the Holy Spirit working within the church in the present day? Do you have a firm grasp of this question? What are your brothers’ and sisters’ greatest difficulties? What do they most lack? Currently, there are some people who are negative as they undergo trials, and some even complain. Other people are no longer moving forward because God has finished speaking. People have not entered the right track of belief in God. They cannot live independently, and they cannot maintain their own spiritual life. Some people follow along and pursue with energy, and are willing to practice when God speaks, but when God does not speak, they no longer move forward. People still have not understood God’s will within their hearts and they do not have spontaneous love for God; in the past they followed God because they were forced. Now there are some people who are tired of God’s work. Are such people not in danger? A lot of people exist in a state of just coping. Although they eat and drink God’s words and pray to Him, they do so half-heartedly, and they no longer have the drive that they once had. Most people are not interested in God’s work of refinement and perfection, and indeed it is as if they are constantly without any internal drive. When they are overcome by transgressions, they do not feel indebted to God, nor do they have the awareness to feel remorse. They do not pursue the truth or leave the church, and instead pursue only temporary pleasures. These people are fools, utterly stupid! When the time comes, they will all be cast out, and not a single one will be saved! Do you think that if someone has been saved once they will always be saved? This belief is pure deception! All those who do not pursue entry into life will be chastised. Most people have absolutely no interest in entering into life, in visions, or in putting the truth into practice. They do not pursue entering in, and they certainly do not pursue entering in more deeply. Are they not ruining themselves? Right now, there is a portion of people whose conditions are constantly improving. The more the Holy Spirit works, the more confidence they gain; the more they experience, the more they feel the profound mystery of God’s work. The deeper they enter in, the more they understand. They feel that God’s love is so great, and they feel steady and enlightened within themselves. They have an understanding of God’s work. These are the people in whom the Holy Spirit is working. Some people say: “Although there are no new words from God, I must still seek to go deeper into the truth, I must be earnest about everything in my actual experience and enter into the reality of God’s words.” This kind of person possesses the work of the Holy Spirit. Although God does not show His countenance and is hidden from every single person, and though He does not utter a word and there are times that people experience some internal refinement, yet God has not completely left people. If a person cannot retain the truth that they should carry out, they will not have the work of the Holy Spirit. During the period of refinement, of God not showing Himself, if you do not have confidence but instead cower away, if you do not focus on experiencing His words, then you are fleeing from God’s work. Later, you will be one of those who are cast out. Those who do not seek to enter into the word of God cannot possibly stand as a witness for Him. People who are able to bear witness for God and satisfy His will are all entirely reliant upon their drive to pursue God’s words. The work that God performs in people is primarily to allow them to gain the truth; having you pursue life is for the sake of perfecting you, and this is all to make you suitable for God’s use. All you are pursuing now is hearing mysteries, listening to God’s words, feasting your eyes, and looking around to see if there is some novelty or trend, and thereby satisfying your curiosity. If this is the intention in your heart, then there is no way for you to meet God’s requirements. Those who do not pursue the truth cannot follow until the very end. Right now, it is not that God is not doing something, but rather that people are not cooperating with Him, because they are tired of His work. They only want to hear words that He speaks to bestow blessings, and they are unwilling to hear the words of His judgment and chastisement. What is the reason for this? The reason is that people’s desires to gain blessings have not been fulfilled and they therefore have become negative and weak. It is not that God purposely does not allow people to follow Him, nor is it that He is purposely delivering blows to mankind. People are negative and weak only because their intentions are improper. God is the God that gives man life, and He cannot bring man into death. People’s negativity, weaknesses, and backsliding are all caused by their own doing.
God’s current work brings people some refinement, and only those who can stand firm as they receive this refinement will gain God’s approval. No matter how He conceals Himself, whether by not speaking or not working, you can still pursue with vigor. Even if God said that He would reject you, you would still follow Him. This is standing witness for God. If God conceals Himself from you and you stop following Him, is this standing witness for God? If people do not actually enter in, then they do not have actual stature, and when they really encounter a great trial they will stumble. When God is not speaking, or doing what is not in line with your own notions, you break down. If God were currently acting according to your own notions, if He were satisfying your will and you were able to stand up and pursue with energy, then what would be the foundation upon which you live? I say that there are many people who are living in a way that is entirely reliant upon human curiosity. They absolutely do not have it in their truest heart to pursue. All those who do not pursue entry into the truth but rely on their curiosity in life are despicable people, and they are in danger! God’s various kinds of work are all carried out to perfect mankind. However, people are always curious, they like to inquire about hearsay, they are concerned about current affairs in foreign countries—for example, they are curious about what is happening in Israel, or if there was an earthquake in Egypt—they are always looking for some new, novel things to satisfy their selfish desires. They do not pursue life, nor do they pursue being perfected. They only seek to have the day of God arrive sooner so that their beautiful dream may be realized and their extravagant desires fulfilled. This kind of person is not practical—they are someone who has an improper perspective. Only pursuit of the truth is the foundation of mankind’s belief in God, and if people do not pursue entry into life, if they do not seek to satisfy God, then they will be subject to punishment. Those who are to be punished are those who have not had the work of the Holy Spirit during God’s time of work.
How should people cooperate with God during this stage of His work? God is currently testing people. He is not uttering a word, but is concealing Himself and making no direct contact with people. From the outside, it looks like He is not doing any work, but the truth is that He is still working within man. Anyone who is pursuing entry into life has a vision for their pursuit of life, and does not have doubts even if they do not fully understand God’s work. While undergoing trials, even when you do not know what God wants to do and what work He wants to accomplish, you should know that God’s intentions for mankind are always good. If you pursue Him with a true heart then He will never leave you, and in the end He will surely perfect you, and bring people to an appropriate destination. Regardless of how God is currently testing people, there will come a day when He will provide people with an appropriate outcome and give them the appropriate retribution based on what they have done. God will not lead people to a certain point and then just cast them aside and ignore them. This is because God is trustworthy. At this stage, the Holy Spirit is doing the work of refinement. He is refining every single person. In the steps of work that were constituted by the trial of death and the trial of chastisement, refinement was carried out through words. For people to experience God’s work, they must first understand His current work and how mankind should cooperate. Indeed, this is something that everyone should understand. No matter what God does, whether it be refinement or even if He is not speaking, not a single step of God’s work falls in line with mankind’s notions. Each step of His work shatters and breaks through people’s notions. This is His work. But you must believe that, since God’s work has reached a certain stage, He will not put all mankind to death no matter what. He gives both promises and blessings to mankind, and all those who pursue Him will be able to gain His blessings, but those who do not will be cast out by God. This depends on your pursuit. Regardless of anything else, you must believe that when God’s work is concluded, every single person will have a suitable destination. God has provided mankind with beautiful aspirations, but without pursuit they are unattainable. You should be able to see this now—God’s refinement and His chastisement of people is His work, but people, for their part, must pursue a change in disposition at all times. In your practical experience, you must first know how to eat and drink God’s words; you must find within His words what you should enter into and your own shortcomings, you should seek entry in your practical experience, and take the portion of God’s words that should be put into practice and try to do so. Eating and drinking God’s words is one aspect. In addition, the life of the church must be maintained, you must have a normal spiritual life, and you must be able to hand over all of your current states to God. No matter how His work changes, your spiritual life should remain normal. A spiritual life can maintain your normal entering in. No matter what God does, you ought to continue your spiritual life uninterrupted and fulfill your duty. This is what people should do. It is all the work of the Holy Spirit, but while for those with a normal condition this is perfection, for those with an abnormal condition it is a trial. At the current stage of the Holy Spirit’s refinement work, some people say that God’s work is so great and that people absolutely need refinement, otherwise their stature will be too small and they will have no way of attaining God’s will. However, for those whose condition is not good, it becomes a reason to not pursue God, and a reason to not attend gatherings or eat and drink God’s word. In God’s work, no matter what He does or what changes He effects, people must maintain a baseline of a normal spiritual life. Perhaps you have not been lax in this current stage of your spiritual life, but you still have not gained much, and have not reaped a great harvest. Under these kinds of circumstances, you must still follow the rules; you must keep to these rules so that you do not suffer losses in your life and so that you satisfy God’s will. If your spiritual life is abnormal, you cannot understand God’s current work, and instead always feel that it is completely incompatible with your own notions, and though you are willing to follow Him, you lack internal drive. So, no matter what God is currently doing, people must cooperate. If people do not cooperate, then the Holy Spirit cannot do His work, and if people do not have a heart to cooperate, then they can hardly gain the work of the Holy Spirit. If you want to have the work of the Holy Spirit inside of you, and if you want to gain God’s approval, then you must maintain your original devotion before the face of God. Now, it is not necessary for you to have a deeper understanding, a higher theory, or other such things—all that is required is that you uphold God’s word on the original foundation. If people do not cooperate with God and do not pursue deeper entry, then God will take away all the things that were originally theirs. On the inside, people are always greedy for ease and would rather enjoy what is already available. They want to gain God’s promises without paying any price at all. These are the extravagant thoughts that mankind entertains. Gaining life itself without paying a price—but has anything ever been this easy? When someone believes in God and seeks to enter into life and seeks a change in their disposition, they must pay a price and achieve a state in which they will always follow God, no matter what He does. This is something that people must do. Even if you follow all of this as a rule, you must always uphold it, and no matter how great the trials, you cannot let go of your normal relationship with God. You should be able to pray, maintain your church life, and never leave your brothers and sisters. When God tries you, you should still seek the truth. This is the minimum requirement for a spiritual life. Always having the desire to seek, and striving to cooperate, applying all of your energy—can this be done? If people take this as a foundation, they will be able to achieve discernment and entry into reality. It is easy to accept God’s word when your own state is normal; in these circumstances it does not feel difficult to practice the truth, and you feel that God’s work is great. But if your condition is poor, no matter how great God’s work is and no matter how beautifully someone speaks, you will pay no mind. When a person’s condition is abnormal, God cannot work in them, and they cannot achieve changes in their disposition.
If people do not have any confidence, it is not easy for them to continue down this path. Everyone can now see that God’s work does not conform in the slightest with people’s notions and imaginings. God has done so much work and spoken so many words, and though people may acknowledge that they are the truth, notions about God are still liable to arise in them. If people wish to understand the truth and gain it, they must have the confidence and willpower to be able to stand by what they have already seen and what they have gained from their experiences. No matter what God does in people, they must uphold what they themselves possess, be sincere in front of God, and remain devoted to Him to the very end. This is mankind’s duty. People must uphold that which they should do. Belief in God requires obedience to Him and experience of His work. God has done so much work—it could be said that for people it is all perfection, refinement, and even more, chastisement. There has not been a single step of God’s work that has been in line with human notions; what people have enjoyed is God’s stern words. When God comes, people should enjoy His majesty and His wrath. However, no matter how stern His words may be, He comes to save and perfect mankind. As creatures, people should fulfill the duties that they ought to, and stand witness for God in the midst of refinement. In every trial they should uphold the witness that they should bear, and do so resoundingly for the sake of God. A person who does this is an overcomer. No matter how God refines you, you remain full of confidence and never lose confidence in Him. You do what man should do. This is what God requires of man, and man’s heart should be able to fully return to Him and turn toward Him in every passing moment. This is an overcomer. Those whom God refers to as “overcomers” are those who are still able to stand witness and maintain their confidence and devotion to God when under the influence of Satan and while being laid siege to by Satan, that is, when they find themselves amidst the forces of darkness. If you are still able to keep a pure heart before God and maintain your genuine love for God no matter what, then you are standing witness in front of God, and this is what God refers to as being an “overcomer.” If your pursuit is excellent when God blesses you, but you retreat without His blessings, is this purity? Since you are certain that this way is true, you must follow it until the end; you must maintain your devotion to God. Since you have seen that God Himself has come to the earth to perfect you, you should give your heart entirely to Him. If you can still follow Him no matter what He does, even if He determines an unfavorable outcome for you at the very end, this is maintaining your purity in front of God. Offering a holy spiritual body and a pure virgin to God means keeping a sincere heart in front of God. For mankind, sincerity is purity, and the ability to be sincere toward God is maintaining purity. This is what you should put into practice. When you ought to pray, you pray; when you ought to gather together in fellowship, you do so; when you ought to sing hymns, you sing hymns; and when you ought to forsake the flesh, you forsake the flesh. When you perform your duty, you do not muddle through it; when you are faced with trials you stand firm. This is devotion to God. If you do not uphold what people should do, then all of your previous suffering and resolutions have been futile.
For every step of God’s work, there is a way that people should cooperate. God refines people so that they have confidence as they undergo refinements. God perfects people so that they have confidence to be perfected by God and are willing to accept His refinements and to be dealt with and pruned by God. The Spirit of God works within people to bring them enlightenment and illumination, and to have them cooperate with Him and practice. God does not speak during refinements. He does not utter His voice, but still, there is work that people should do. You should uphold what you already have, you should still be able to pray to God, be close to God, and stand witness before God; in this way you will fulfill your own duty. All of you should see clearly from God’s work that His trials of people’s confidence and love require that they pray more to God, and that they more often savor God’s words before Him. If God enlightens you and has you understand His will, and yet you do not put any of this into practice, you will gain nothing. When you put God’s words into practice, you should still be able to pray to Him, and when you savor His words you should come before Him and seek and be full of confidence in Him, with no trace of feeling disheartened or cold. Those who do not put God’s words into practice are full of energy during gatherings, but fall into darkness when they return home. There are some who do not even want to gather together. So, you must clearly see what duty it is that people should fulfill. You may not know what God’s will actually is, but you can perform your duty, you can pray when you should, you can put the truth into practice when you should, and you can do what people ought to do. You can uphold your original vision. In this way, you will be more able to accept God’s next step of work. When God works in a hidden way, it is a problem if you do not seek. When He speaks and preaches during assemblies, you listen with enthusiasm, but when He does not speak you lack energy and draw back. What kind of person acts in this way? This is someone who just follows wherever the herd goes. They have no stance, no testimony, and no vision! Most people are like this. If you continue on that way, one day when you come upon a great trial, you will fall into punishment. Having a stance is very important in God’s process of perfecting people. If you do not doubt a single step of God’s work, if you fulfill man’s duty, if you sincerely uphold what God has you put into practice, that is, you remember God’s exhortations, and no matter what He does in the present day you do not forget His exhortations, if you have no doubt about His work, maintain your stance, uphold your testimony, and are victorious every step of the way, then in the end you will be perfected by God and be made into an overcomer. If you are able to stand firm through every step of God’s trials, and if you can still stand firm at the very end, then you are an overcomer, you are someone who has been perfected by God. If you cannot stand firm in your current trials, then in the future it will become even more difficult. If you only undergo an insignificant amount of suffering and you do not pursue the truth, then ultimately you will gain nothing. You will be left empty-handed. There are some people who give up their pursuit when they see that God is not speaking, and their heart becomes scattered. Is such a person not a fool? These kinds of people have no reality. When God is speaking, they are always running around, appearing busy and enthusiastic on the outside, but now that He is not speaking, they stop seeking. This kind of person has no future. During refinements, you must enter in from a positive perspective and learn the lessons that you should learn; when you pray to God and read His word, you should measure your own state against it, discover your shortcomings, and find that you still have many lessons to learn. The more sincerely you seek as you undergo refinements, the more you will find yourself inadequate. When you are experiencing refinements there are many issues that you encounter; you cannot see them clearly, you complain, you reveal your own flesh—only in this way can you discover that you have far too many corrupt dispositions within you.
People are lacking in caliber and they fall far short of God’s standards, they may be even more in need of the confidence to walk this path in the future. God’s work in the last days requires enormous confidence, confidence even greater than that of Job. Without confidence, people will not be able to continue to gain experience and nor will they be able to be perfected by God. When the day of great trials comes, there will be people leaving the churches—some here, some there. There will be some who had been doing quite well in their pursuit in the previous days and it will be unclear why they no longer believe. Many things will happen that you will not understand, and God will not reveal any signs or wonders, nor do anything supernatural. This is to see if you can stand firm—God uses facts to refine people. You have not yet suffered much. In the future when great trials come, in some places every single person in the church will leave, and those whom you have had a good relationship with will leave and abandon their faith. Will you be able to stand firm then? Up to now, the trials you have faced have been minor, and you probably have been barely able to withstand them. This step includes refinements and perfecting through words only. In the next step, the facts will come upon you to refine you, and then you will be in the midst of peril. Once it becomes really serious, God will advise you to hurry up and leave, and religious people will try to lure you into going with them. This is to see if you can continue on the path, and all of these things are trials. The current trials are minor, but the day will come when there will be some homes where the parents no longer believe, and some where the children no longer believe. Will you be able to continue? The farther forward you go, the greater your trials will become. God carries out His work of refining people according to their needs and their stature. During the stage of God perfecting mankind, it is impossible that the number of people will continue to grow—it will only shrink. It is only through these refinements that people can be perfected. Being dealt with, disciplined, tested, chastised, cursed—can you withstand all of this? When you see a church with a particularly good situation, where the sisters and brothers are all seeking with great energy, you yourself feel encouraged. When the day comes that they have all left, some of them no longer believe, some have left to do business or get married, and some have joined the religion; will you be able to stand firm then? Will you be able to remain unaffected within? God’s perfection of mankind is not such a simple thing! He utilizes many things to refine people. People see these as methods, but in God’s original intention these are not methods at all, but facts. In the end, when He has refined people to a certain point and they no longer have any complaints, this stage of His work will be complete. The great work of the Holy Spirit is to perfect you, and when He does not work and hides Himself, it is even more for the purpose of perfecting you, and in particular in this way it can be seen whether people have love for God, whether they have true confidence in Him. When God speaks plainly, there is no need for you to search; it is only when He is concealed that you need to search and feel your way through. You should be able to fulfill the duty of a created being, and no matter what your future outcome and your destination may be, you should be able to pursue knowledge and love for God during the years you are alive, and no matter how God treats you, you should be able to avoid complaining. There is one condition for the Holy Spirit to work within people. They must thirst and seek and not be half-hearted or doubtful about God’s actions, and they must be able to uphold their duty at all times; only in this way can they gain the work of the Holy Spirit. In each step of God’s work, what is required of mankind is enormous confidence and coming before God to seek—only through experience can people discover how lovable God is and how the Holy Spirit works in people. If you do not experience, if you do not feel your way through that, if you do not seek, then you will gain nothing. You must feel your way through your experiences, and only through your experiences can you see God’s actions and recognize His wondrousness and unfathomableness.